Robyn’s guide to local chocolate
Have a look at Robyn’s guide to local chocolate. Thanks, Robyn! As she discusses, we are lucky to have a wide range of local chocolate makers, including:
- Chocolatier Australia, based in Heidelberg West.
- Organic Times, based in Eltham.
- Van Nunen Chocolates, based in Eltham.
- Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery, based in Yarra Glen.
For details about each of these chocolate makers, and where to buy their stuff, see the relevant part of the Local Food Directory.
Any changes, corrections or additions to this or any of the other guides would be most welcome. Ditto any words for any new local guides (honey anyone?). Just email us.
Local resources for community gardening
We have set up a resources page on the website, which lists some local professionals who build wicking beds or raised garden beds plus some others who grow and sell seedlings.
The list of local professionals who build wicking beds or raised garden beds currently comprises Greg Parsons (Yummy Gardens), Mac McVeigh, Matthew Laity (How Ya Growing), Nathan Ezard and Paul Gale-Baker (Urban Shepherd). The list of local professionals who grow and sell seedlings current comprises Helen Simpson (The Mushroom Shed) and Richard Lee (KABUU). Any others that should be added? What about local sources of compost, manure, etc?
Whilst on the subject, are Edendale still selling veggie seedlings (I didn’t see any when I last went there and nothing is mentioned on their website)?
Sustainable Gardening Australia (SGA) – website and newsletter
Several of us at LFC are also involved in another community organisation called Sustainable Gardening Australia (SGA). Although SGA has nationwide coverage, it is actually based in Bulleen and 800 of its newsletter recipients live in either Nillumbik or Banyule.
SGA’s website has hundreds of articles about all aspects of gardening, with many of them relating to food. For example, during April:
Using coffee grounds in the garden: argues that coffee grounds should be added to your compost rather than directly onto your veggie patch.
- Pesticides in fruit and vegetables: discusses which fruits and vegetables to avoid and why.
If this sort of thing is of interest to you, you can sign up for their free, monthly newsletter.
[Guy’s editorial note: although I happen to be the person who sends out the SGA newsletter I don’t actually write the articles so when I say that many of the articles are rather interesting, you can take this as an unbiased opinion!]
Finally, here are two interesting statistics:
Of the 1,300 people in Nillumbik and Banyule who receive either the SGA newsletter or the LFC one, only 120 (9%) receive both.
- For the SGA newsletter, Banyule recipients substantially outnumber those from Nillumbik (500 compared to 300).
Telopea Mountain Permaculture guided tour
What: Pete (the Permie) and Silvia from Telopea Mountain Permaculture in Monbulk, are offering tours of their property to celebrate International Permaculture Day. It is a 12 acre property, run using biodynamic methods. The animals are integrated into the orchards, where there are over 1,000 varieties of fruit trees. They have a nursery with many food plants for sale and classrooms where they teach many classes including cheesemaking and cidermaking. You will be invited to try the fruit available from their collection, including tastings of old varieties of apple, pear and nashi. They will also discuss how biodynamics is used to provide health for the system and how permaculture design was used to create and improve the property.
When: Sunday, 3rd May, 10am and then again at 2pm.
Where: Monbulk (address to be supplied upon booking).
Enquiries/Bookings: Peter Allen by phone (0418 665880) or email.
The secret life of worms
What: Felicity Gordon will facilitate a discussion including: why worms are so valuable in our gardens; the biology and habits of worms; how to set up and maintain a worm farm at home; how to use worm castings and worm tea to improve your soil and garden; and what to do when things go wrong.
When: Tuesday, 5th May, 10.30-11.30am.
Where: Watsonia Library Community Garden.
Enquiries/Bookings: Felicity Gordon by email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.
Sustainable garden sculpture: insect hotels
What: Take part in a creative environmental garden project in a beautiful rural setting, while learning about the importance of active insect life in your garden. Participants will work with artists to make sustainable insect hotels using a range of recycled materials. All ages welcome. Bookings are essential.
When: Saturday, 16th May, 10am-midday.
Where: Whittlesea Community Garden.
Enquiries/Bookings: Megan by phone (0407 699755) or email.
Further information: LFC calendar entry.
If you know of any events that could usefully be included in the newsletter and website, email us. If you have a flyer, we can also include that. Just one request: please make sure that the details are in a form that we can copy/paste (i.e. not just a jpg).
Upcoming events from previous LFC News
Over the next week
- Seed saving with Maria Ciavarella: Friday, 1st May, 7-9pm.
- ‘Small Blocks, Big Ideas’ Forum: Sunday, 3rd May, 9am-3pm.
- Native plant sale: Sunday, 3rd May, 10am-3pm.
- Telepoa Mountain Permaculture guided tour: Sunday, 3rd May, 10am and again at 2pm.
- The secret life of worms: Tuesday, 5th May, 10.30-11.30am.
- Hurstbridge Garden Club: Tuesday, 5th May, 7.15-9.15pm.
- Meet the maker – breadmaking: Wednesday, 6th May, 1-3pm.
Note that the ‘Small Blocks, Big Ideas’ Forum has been moved from Whittlesea Showgrounds to Hurstbridge Community Hub and will now be run concurrently with the Nillumbik Landholder Expo.
Over the next month
- Cooking workshop – minimising food waste: Saturday, 9th May, 2-4.30pm.
- Beekeeping – a taster: Sunday, 10th May, 2pm.
- Sustainable garden sculpture: insect hotels: Saturday, 16th May, 10am-midday.
- Soil matters: Saturday, 16th May, 2-4.30pm.